Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Ribs to Kill For
by SuSu, MaceVindaloo, Csillag, Diana, Diasala, Montanacapo

Garrick "Face" Loran was worried about his new-found friend, Ton Phanan. The man had grown more melancholy in the past weeks, even though he was outwardly having a good time and their undercover missions were succeeding.

And every time he went to see Ton, the man was drinking. He drank alarming amounts of alcohol, especially considering he was a cyborg with much his body replaced by electronics and engineered materials to keep him walking and moving in an approximation of how he used to be configured. Having less flesh meant less blood, which meant that he was getting drunk faster and deeper.

Face took to visiting him frequently, for Ton's drinking would abate if he had company. So they got to talking about all manner of things.

Finally, Face asked, "Why did you stop being a surgeon, Ton? You're good, as far as I know!"

Ton shrugged, "Told you, told everyone ... there is a fine line between saving a life and destroying it. I couldn't trust myself."

Face shook his head, "No, you aren't like that ... you still have ethics hidden behind that red eye of yours ... but I do believe you couldn't trust yourself. Why couldn't you trust yourself, Ton?"

Ton deliberately took a long pull from the bottle sitting on the desk beside him. "You don't want to know. It horrifies even me!"

Face thought about it. "If you don't want to tell me, I'll live with that. But you know I like you, Ton. I worry ... and I keep thinking you need to get back into surgery, to help you feel better about yourself. I sure would appreciate a reason to not pursue that line of thought ..."

"Okay, okay, I get it! You'll nag me unless I tell you, right? You are SUCH a woman!" Ton growled at his friend, though not in a really dangerous manner. "You remember that aquarium we went to on Borleais? Do you remember why we had to leave?"

Face nodded, "You said you needed to eat, even though we'd had lunch just a short while before that. You were overly dramatic about it."

Ton smiled grimly, "Or so you say ... I was hungry because those fish in the warm reef display ... they looked so delicious! All I could see was steaks, butter-broiled fillets, salt-baked whole wonders on a plate ... I was salivating and suffering!"

Face recalled that he'd thought Ton was rabid at the time. The cyborg had seemed to be frothing at the mouth and drooling, as well and growling and yelling. "So you're an enthusiastic fisherman ... so what?"

Ton smiled again, more grimly. "I feel the same way when I'm doing surgery ... if I'm cutting around muscle or doing chest surgery and encounter ribs — especially ribs! — I'd get hungry and nonfunctional ..."

Face looked at his friend, stunned at the confession.

"Oh, it's not as bad as all that," continued the surgeon, "I am not a cannibal! But when I see those ribs under my scalpel, I need to get me some juicy, spicy gornt ribs!" He licked his lips loudly for emphasis.

His friend still immobilized by the revelation, Ton giggled. "Told you it was horrific, didn't I? You never listen ... I don't mean any ribs though! Oh no, there are some specific ones which are just so tasty ... But here, I'll make up some ribs for you. I warn you, they take a while to cook up properly but it's so worth it! You taste them, and you tell me you wouldn't kill a man for a bite of these lucious treats ..."

As Face watched the former surgeon handle the tasks required to make this dish with precision, Face wondered about that saying, "to kill (or die) for" ...

    Oregano Rub
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup paprika
  • ½ cup garlic powder
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup onion powder
  • ¼ cup chiptle chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon powdered cumin
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and mix together thoroughly. You can keep this rub in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Makes about 4 cups of rub.

In a bowl, blend together the rub and brown sugar very well. Store in an jar with a tight-fitting lid. Makes 1 cup of finishing rub.

    Cooking Ribs
  • 2 racks of pork ribs, trimmed of most fat
  • 1 cup liquid smoke
  • Oregano Rub
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • Finishing Rub
Heat an oven to 250°F / 120°C.

There is a meatier side and a bonier side to each rack of ribs. The bonier side has a "skin" or membrane on it which will never break down in cooking and will not allow the flavors to penetrate. You have two choices:
  1. Poke shallow holes all throughout this membrane to provide entry points for flavorings;
  2. Trim / strip away the membrane from the back of the rack of ribs.
After you make your choice and do as you will, massage the meat with Liquid Smoke all over. Let it sit for about 10 minutes on a wire rack to dry up a bit. Then sprinkle all sides of the rib racks with the Oregano Rub, patting the spices into the meat. Reserve ¾ cup of the rub for later; otherwise, you can use as much as you'd like of the rub.

Line a large roasting pan with heavy duty foil (or line it with a double thickness of the normal household stuff). Do not skip this step unless you like scrubbing pans! Place a V-roasting rack in the pan, upside down. Spray the rack with cooking spray or rub with vegetable oil.

Drape / wrap the ribs, curving them around the rack like they were plate racks, so that both racks of ribs can fit in the pan. The meatier side should be outward. (Alternatively, place the ribs on flat racks, but you'll likely need two racks and two pans, and enough oven space. If you do this, place the racks meatier side upward.) You want to make sure that all the meat has "air" around it, i.e. they don't overlap each other.

Place the meat into the oven and cook for 3½ hours.

Pour the apple juice into the bottom of the pan, then tightly crimp foil around the edges of the pan to trap in the steam. Place back in the oven for another hour.

Open up the foil carefully, or you'll get a steam burn! Sprinkle the Finishing Rub onto the meaty side of the racks, and return to the oven, uncovered. Raise the heat to 300°F / 150°C and cook for another half an hour.

Cut the ribs into portions and serve with your choice of barbecue sauce on the side. Serves up to 8, though it depends on how much the diners love ribs!

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